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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Wednesday, April 19, 2000

Boyd Gaming's net boosted by payment

Boyd Gaming Corp. had a profit of $57.1 million, or 92 cents a share, in its first quarter, the highest profit for any quarter in its history and up 542 percent from the profit of $8.9 million, or 14 cents a share, a year earlier.

The profit was boosted by a $72 million payment when a hotel not owned by Boyd terminated a Boyd management contract early, creating 70 cents a share in extra profit. But Las Vegas-based Boyd said the 22 cents a share earnings without counting that one-time payment was 22 percent above the 18 cents a share earned in the first quarter of 1999. Revenues aside from that payment were $282 million, up 15.8 percent from a year-earlier $243 million.

Boyd's downtown Las Vegas hotels and Hawaii-Las Vegas package tour business are popular with Hawaii residents. A Honolulu subsidiary, Vacations Hawaii, had first-quarter revenues of $9.7 million, up 14.1 percent from $8.5 million in the first quarter of 1999, Boyd said yesterday.

U.S. trade gap climbs to record

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. trade deficit shot up to a record $29.2 billion in February as Americans' demand for foreign oil hit an all-time monthly high while sales of exports dipped.

The Commerce Department said today that the deficit widened by 6.5 percent in February compared to a $27.4 billion January deficit. February's deficit was bigger than the $28.9 billion imbalance many analysts were forecasting. Total imports climbed 1.5 percent to a record $113.4 billion as sales of chemicals and other industrial supplies and of capital goods including computers and telecommunications equipment rose to records.

In other news . . .

Bullet CHICAGO -- UAL Corp., parent of United Airlines, reported an unexpected rise in first-quarter profit as travel demand in March helped the world's largest airline company overcome higher jet-fuel costs. Profit from operations climbed 2.1 percent to $191 million, or $1.61 a fully distributed share, from $187 million, or $1.54, a year earlier. The carrier's results beat analysts' expectations.

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